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Chamber News

Mar 29

Chamber Applauds Mayor Emanuel's Infrastructure Revitalization Plan

City announces $7 billion ‘Building a New Chicago’ program

At a press conference today Mayor Emanuel announced a $7 billion, three year infrastructure program aptly titled “Building a New Chicago”. The program is considered one of the largest investments in infrastructure in Chicago’s history.

The plan will focus on almost every aspect of the city’s infrastructure such as roads, railroads, parks, buildings and bridges.

“Our plans are comprehensive because our needs are comprehensive -- because no city in America relies on its infrastructure more than Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said.

“While our infrastructure challenges are not unique, our resolve and determination to see them through is. I look forward to rebuilding our city’s infrastructure so we may continue to lead in the 21st century.”

In addition to improving the city’s infrastructure, the program can create an estimated 30,000 jobs over three years, all without increasing taxes.

Mayor Emanuel expressed that funding was “secured” and that, “None of these funds will come from raising new taxes.” Apparently, many of the projects are funded through reforms, efficiencies, cuts in central offices, direct user fees, and the recently announced Chicago Infrastructure Trust.

The improvements in Building a New Chicago will include:

• Renovation, repair, or rebuilding of more than 100 CTA stations
• The creation of the first 16 miles of Bus Rapid Transit Route on Jeffrey Boulevard, with future routes being developed for the Central Loop.
• A $1.4 billion investment in O’Hare airport over the next three years, creating 5,900 jobs, including opening two new runways by 2015.
• A five-year, $290 million capital plan for the City’s parks that will include the acquisition of 180 new acres of parklands, and the building of 20 new playgrounds and 12 new parks.
• The 2014 completion of the Bloomingdale trail.
• The completion of two new boathouses this year on the Chicago River, with two new boathouses next year.
• The replacement of 900 miles of century-old water pipe, the repair of 750 miles of sewer line, and the reconstruction of 160,000 catch-basins.
• The reform of the Aldermanic Menu, and tax increment financing, so that these tools better match the city’s infrastructure needs.
• A $660 million investment in Chicago Public Schools, and a $479 million investment in the City Colleges of Chicago, to create modern educational environments that will propel our students into the jobs of tomorrow.
• “Retrofit Chicago” a $225 million dollar effort to retrofit City buildings, reducing their energy consumption by 25 percent and creating 900 jobs in the next three years, the first project funded by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust.

Click here to download the official press release with the Mayor’s complete remarks.


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